Kirsten Simonsen

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Dr. Simonsen will give an overview of what to expect as we begin the 2023 fishery planning season.  She will also discuss some upcoming monitoring projects that are being developed to enhance our understanding of salmon stocks in Puget Sound and improve the management of recreational and commercial fisheries. 


Dr. Kirsten Simonsen is the Puget Sound Recreational Fisheries Manager at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Dr. Simonsen spent the early part of her career on the east coast, where she received her B.S. in Marine Biology from Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., and then spent time working in Maryland and New York.  She then moved to Baton Rouge, LA to pursue her graduate degree, where she received her M.S. and PhD from Louisiana State University.  Dr. Simonsen focused her graduate studies on fisheries ecology, particularly on predator-prey dynamics of reef-associated fishes, and how those species interact with habitat structures and the environment.  Upon completion of her PhD, she was awarded an National Research Council (NRC) Post-Doctoral Assistantship with the NMFS Alaska Fisheries Science Center, working with the Midwater Assessment and Conservation Engineering (MACE) group.  She began working for WDFW in January of 2021 and is currently focused on expanding monitoring efforts on salmon stocks through the use of advanced technology to help inform management of recreational and commercial fisheries in Puget Sound.